Spokes Submission on Plans for the Flyover to be Constructed in Rolleston.
Submitted on 22/7/22 by email to email@example.com
Spokes Canterbury (Inc.)
Spokes Canterbury (http://www.spokes.org.nz/) is a local cycling advocacy group with approximately 1,200 members and is affiliated with the national Cycling Action Network (CAN – https://can.org.nz/). Spokes is dedicated to including cycling as an everyday form of transport in the greater Christchurch and Canterbury areas.
We would like the opportunity to appear at any public hearing held to consider submissions on these projects. Should there be an officer’s report or similar document(s) we would appreciate a copy(s).
Overall Spokes supports the flyover changes proposed for Rolleston, but offers some suggestions as to how it should be improved further.
Spokes is pleased Waka Kotahi is planning to connect the residential and commercial areas of Rolleston with the industrial areas with a link that encourages more than motor car use.
After careful consideration and discussions with Waka Kotahi staff, Spokes does agree with the siting of the proposed link. Whilst it is north of the population centre and the existing industrial centre, it will provide a more direct route to any further development north of Hoskyns Road. It also provides an alternative to access the end of the Southern Motorway via the left out at Hoskyns Road.
However, concern has been expressed by Waka Kotahi staff that the proposed overbridge will require ramps at grades that will challenge cyclists. It has been stated that the grades are rideable by quite inexperienced cyclists but it is the perception of the grade that will present a barrier to some users. Furthermore, with a bridge going up then down, vehicles are more likely to have excessive speeds when approaching the traffic controls at both ends of the ramps.
Also, the steep grade indicates that room for the overbridge is tight which makes future changes to State Highway 1 or the rail network almost impossible unless the bridge is changed. It is understood that projections show that SH1 will not need changing for a number of years but projections are just that (ie current best estimates, but not facts). One of the factors that may change the projection is the re-location of all NZ Army training to Burnham Military Camp which is likely to see the population of people living and/or working in Burnham increase dramatically. It is not known if this change has been factored into the projections.
Spokes encourages Waka Kotahi to re-consider using an underpass for all traffic on this route. The reasons are as follows:
1. An underpass does not have to be built as deep as a bridge would need to be built high so the gradient would be less,
2. Cyclists prefer to go down then up as opposed to up then down. A dip in front of a cyclist looks a lot less daunting than a hill. Cyclists can gather speed going downhill then get part of the way up again using their momentum thereby reducing their climbing effort. On an overbridge the whole uphill has to be ridden and the subsequent downhill results in excessive speed that has to be controlled.
3. The underpass could be height restricted thereby stopping heavy traffic from using the route without the need for Council by-laws and enforcement action. It would be important that the design allowed buses to use the route.
4. The exiting up slope as the users approach the traffic signals would mean speed would be better controlled by both cyclists and motorists.
5. Concern has been expressed that having vehicles on an uphill incline waiting for traffic signals would increase emissions so make it unpleasant for cyclists and pedestrians. Electric and most hybrid cars do not idle and many newer fossil fuel burning vehicles also switch off when stationary. This would reduce the emissions.
6. An underpass could include access by stairway to the railway station both for existing use and any possible expansion. This is common in most places with metro rail systems so is nothing new.
7. An underpass could provide support columns to the road and rail between lanes thereby reducing the requirement for heavy, load bearing beams.
8. An underpass could be built in such a way that if the road or rail network above needs to be developed, the addition of extra capacity would be simpler.
9. All of the land above ground will still be available for the construction of better rail facilities.
Obviously the design of any underpass has to be mindful of CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design in New Zealand) requirements but the Robinsons Road underpass just further up the road is good in this respect and could be repeated.
If the overbridge is the chosen option, Spokes preference would be for a separate cycling and walking facility under SH1 and the railway line at the end of Tennyson Street connecting up to George Holmes Drive. Obviously the proposed bridge at Rolleston Drive would still need to include good cycling facilities and Spokes would like the gradient reduced by making the cycle ascents longer by means of a bridge that is separate from the road and uses the land in the centre of the access off the southbound lane on SH1. Cyclists would rather bike an extra few metres than have a hill they are not comfortable with. If this option is not provided then Spokes would like the bridge design to include the following features on the southern side:
● Make it a separated mixed modal friendly pathway with barriers at the road side so there is no way a child who loses control ends up on the road.
● Widen the shared path to 4 metres, this allows more separation for different modes and speeds
● Put a curved wind and rain break on it, to protect users from the all-too-frequent southerly wind (and rain) and provide some artistry to the structure.
● Curve the entrance at both ends, this allows slower cyclists to get a start onto the bridge to build speed, it slows down other cyclists coming downhill, creates a larger space where groups can wait for slower members without being run over by the faster cyclists/scooters, and again prevents someone from ending up on the road if they overshoot.
● Provide the confident who prefer speed to have the option to use the north side of the overbridge.
Spokes would also like Waka Kotahi to include good, safe walking and cycling access and passage through the area whilst whatever favoured option is being built.
The consultation included the roundabout at Dunns Crossing Road. This route will provide a balance to the south to compensate for the flyover being too far to the north. However, it has been designed for car use and that is all. Cyclists struggle with roundabouts and many less confident users are likely to avoid travelling by cycle on this route. The consultation documents do not mention how cyclists will be treated to provide extra safety. This design defeats the purpose of allowing multi-modal access between the two parts of Rolleston. Also there is concern that this roundabout will encourage much more traffic to pass the adjacent schools.
Spokes would like to see both parts of the consultation re-designed to promote cycle use in one of the most car-dependent areas in the country.
22 July 2022 c.1115.
Submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of Spokes Canterbury by Chris Abbott, Secretary and Submissions Convenor
Cell: 021 654 344
NB Chris Abbott is retiring from both roles at Spokes.
The contact phone number can still be used, but is expected to change I the short term.
The email address will continue to be used.